A few days ago a recruiter contacted me through LinkedIn. He wanted to have a talk because in their company they were looking for someone with my profile. And what I thought it would be a great talk, ended up with a lack of respect.
It was in part my fault. I should’ve ended the conversation at the point I figured out that he wanted to find a cog for their machine. Instead, I played his game to see what I would find (and show it to you.)
The first thing I discovered was that he was a pure salesman. Maybe he was from The Wolf of Wall Street movie, but he clearly wasn’t looking for the benefit of both sides (something to consider specially when you try to work with that person.)
One of the biggest problems in sales–or in HR in this case–is the lack of empathy. Even though being too empathetic can be dangerous, having the ability to see through the eyes of your client is critical. Feel what she feels. Understand what she understands. Putting yourself in her shoes and perceive the world in the way she does.
Point #1: Be empathetic. And mean it.
This call started to get funny when he asked for my past experiences, so I answer his questions with my past jobs and projects. However, in the end it didn’t matter. He was trying to classify my profile in his system, doing what he was told. And the worse of all, by his point of view project experiences doesn’t matter, because he couldn’t quantify it.
Point #2: Don’t ask too much for past experiences. What matters is the future and the value she’d create.
Point #3: Most people learn from projects. People who want to learn about marketing (or another field) don’t go to work for big companies or fancy agencies.
Wait, there’s still more. After all this parade of BS, he asked me for my salary expectations. I refused to answer it. And as I expected, he didn’t respect it. After a third try, he started to be pushy to close the sale.
Alas, that doesn’t work. If you feel that somebody is pushing you to answer something you don’t want, we go to the point 1.
Point #4: Treat people with respect. Otherwise you know what you’re gonna get.
I believe that there’s nothing like being generous and honest, because the selfish game never leads to a desirable result.
Nevertheless, if you have to get one idea from this post is this:
Everything you do is sales. Thus, negotiating is about sitting on the other side of the table and, together, explore ways to get an agreement.
Interviewing is a sale. It’s not about being a jerk. It’s about finding a win-win situation where everybody is happy with the results.
In the end it was my fault to play his game, so if you find yourself in a interview like this, just hang up. Anyway, it was worth the time to show you these lessons.